Finding Faith

July 8, 2010

As you know, I'm currently out of town to visit family. I just finished seeing immediate family in Tennessee, and now I'm visiting my husband's extended family in Colorado. It's been a nice trip despite William having a meltdown on our last flight. The poor little guy had had too much excitement.

One nice thing I've been able to do on my trip is attend church. Going to church may not seem like a big deal, but for the past three years I've been trying to figure out just where I stand when it comes to my religious beliefs. I grew up being lectured in the 12-step program of Christianity: read Bible every day, pray every day, memorize scripture, go to church every Sunday, speak in tongues, witness to everyone, etc., etc. And I soon discovered that I couldn't follow all the steps at the same time all the time. It just wasn't me. So I kept messing up. And following the program didn't always ensure that one grew in moral character. Some of the prickliest people I have met are ones that wear the facade best (although, some of the best people I have met do, too).

And then, nearly all at once, the proverbial rug got snatched from beneath me. Between the time my father-in-law became disabled and passed away, the pastor my home church had loved and supported for eight years betrayed the church and left us devastated. I was so crushed, I didn't think I would ever recover. At the same time, my husband began to question the existence of God. Never in a million years did I think such a thing would happen. I approached the marriage altar thinking I was marrying a solid Christian man, the kind I had dreamed about all my life. Needless to say, I suddenly felt betrayed by life itself.

So, for the past three years, I've been sitting around and thinking, "Where does this leave me?" In some ways, I think I'm still trying to answer that question. On the one hand, I still believe in God--still love Him. On the other hand, I refuse to toss all logic and the essence of my personality to the wind just to live up to some man-made Christian ideal. I suppose all this self-searching is an attempt to find some solid middle ground where I can be confident in what I believe and how I live. I'm close, but not there yet.

I was surprised, because when I walked into my home church two Sundays ago, I didn't expect to feel anything. Yet I felt myself being drawn to the front for prayer at the end of the service. As I stood praying with the new pastor, I saw a vision of myself as the biblical "Woman at the Well" with Jesus holding a pitcher of water to my lips, saying, "Drink, daughter, for you are thirsty."

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